Glasgow has much to offer as Scotland's most populous city, but there are certain landmarks you won't find on conventional tours. In fact, you'll find hidden gems and oddities that are tucked away from the city's more commonly visited attractions. 

    Visit these obscure sites and you can see an entirely different side of Glasgow. Here are some of the best things to do in Glasgow off the beaten track, many of which offer a unique perspective of its culture and history.


    Ashton Lane

    An atmospheric cobblestone street in the West End of Glasgow

    • History

    Ashton Lane, tucked away in the West End of Glasgow, is quite popular with locals looking to enjoy the city's nightlife scene. This cobblestone street is adorned with fairy lights in between the building's roofs on either side, creating a glowing canopy at night. The street itself has quite a few pubs and restaurants, including the iconic Ubiquitous Chip. There's even a small theatre along this street called Grosvenor Cinema, which screens all sorts of films throughout the year.

    Location: Ashton Ln, Glasgow, UK


    photo by Colin Baird (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

    See clockwork contraptions

    • Nightlife

    Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre was founded by Eduard Bersudsky, an expert sculptor and mechanic. These 2 disciplines are combined quite impressively to create enchanting works of art that are aesthetically breathtaking. The steampunk pieces aren't necessarily standalone either, as they are often combined with visual and audio additions to create moving stories. Presenting a satisfyingly haunting atmosphere, common themes include the futile struggle against the circle of life and death. 

    Location: Trongate 103, Glasgow G1 5HD, UK

    Open: Wednesday from 5 pm to 6 pm, Thursday from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm and from 7 pm to 8 pm, Friday from 4 pm to 5 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm and from 5 pm to 6 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)141 552 7080


    photo by Stinglehammer (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Glasgow Necropolis

    Explore a Victorian cemetery

    • History

    At Glasgow Necropolis, you'll find around 3,500 impressively constructed monuments, including some that towers over you. You can take a guided tour of the cemetery to learn more about the important people that are laid to rest here, including the Protestant Reformation leader John Knox. 

    If that isn't enough to interest you, the orientation of the necropolis creates an impressive overlook position that lets you gaze out over the Glasgow skyline. Likely, you won't be able to find a view like this anywhere else in the city. 

    Location: 50 Cathedral Square, Glasgow G4 0UZ, UK

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 287 5064


    Glasgow Botanic Gardens

    See the Kibble Palace

    • Families

    Glasgow Botanic Gardens is among the most iconic destinations in the city, but there's something within its grounds that's often overlooked, called Kibble Palace. This greenhouse was designed by John Kibble, a noted inventor and engineer, and it offers far more than a standard greenhouse. 

    Its impressive design implements marble statues with vibrantly coloured flowers adorning them. There are tropical palms inside the greenhouse, which aren't naturally grown in Scotland. Kibble Palace also has a collection of carnivorous plants. 

    Location: 730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 276 1614


    The Lighthouse

    Walk up iconic spiral stairs

    • History

    The Lighthouse in Glasgow functions as a centre for design and architecture, as well as a visitor centre and exhibition space. While the exterior certainly looks like a lighthouse, it has much more to offer inside. You'll find a helical staircase that leads to the top of the lighthouse. 

    Once you reach its peak, there's a viewing platform offering incredible views of Glasgow's uninterrupted cityscape. You'll also find another viewing platform on the south side, which is accessible via a lift if you don't want to climb the stairs.

    Location: 11 Mitchell Lane just off Buchanan Street, Glasgow G1 3NU, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 276 5365


    St. Aloysius Church

    See the Lady of Montserrat

    • History

    While there are plenty of impressive churches throughout Glasgow, none evokes feelings quite like St Aloysius Church does. This church, which towers over nearby Hill Street, was crafted with a Renaissance design but that's not even its most appealing trait. It's also the home of the Lady of Montserrat statue, one of only 2 that are located outside of Catalonia. 

    Also known as The Black Madonna, there's something oddly enchanting about this statue that you're free to observe while exploring this centuries-old church.

    Location: 25 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RE, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)141 332 3039


    Britainnia Panopticon Music Hall

    Travel to the past

    • History

    Britannia Panopticon Theatre is a relic from Glasgow's past dating back to 1857. Renovations have been made over time, but the stage here was restored to its 1920s glory. Not only is this institution a representative of Glasgow's past, but it's also the oldest surviving music hall in the world. 

    Britannia Panopticon Theatre isn't just for tours though, as it's still putting on shows to this day. You can buy tickets to catch a traditional music concert, film screening, or comedy show – check their official website for the latest schedules. 

    Location: 113-117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 5 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)141 553 0840


    photo by TomGough (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Tennant's Factory

    Take a unique brewery tour

    • History

    Tennent's Factory is a historical brewery in Glasgow that has been producing finely crafted brews since 1885. When you take a tour here, you can dive into the rich history of brewing in Scotland dating from the 16th century up to the present day, though brewer Hugh Tennent is the star of the story. If that weren't enough, you can also book beer-tasting master classes. No matter what kind of tour you opt for, there's always a wee pint of freshly brewed beer waiting for you at the end.

    Location: Wellpark Brewery 161 Duke Street, Glasgow G31 1JD, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 202 7145


    photo by Cutkiller2018 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Fossil Grove

    Go back in time

    • History

    Fossil Grove in Victoria Park contains the remnants of a vast ancient forest. While the site was only discovered in 1887, there are roots and stumps of 11 extinct Lepidodendron that date back to the Carboniferous Period – before mammals of any kind existed on the planet. 

    This grove is incredibly well-preserved thanks to the efforts of the local park service, so you can be sure that these stumps will be in the best condition possible when you visit to admire their rarity and uniqueness.

    Location: Victoria Park Drive Whiteinch, Glasgow G14 1BN, UK

    Open: April–September: daily from 12 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 950 1448


    St Valentine's Bones

    Explore famous bones

    • History

    The famous patron saint of love, St Valentine has much mystery around his story. Some say the myth stems from the life of a real man, while others claim it was likely that many men achieved the deeds attributed to St. Valentine. Whatever the truth may be, St. Valentine's Bones are allegedly located right in Glasgow. In fact, you can see their resting place right near the entrance of Blessed St. John Duns Scotus. This relic has such a significance that Glasgow has been nicknamed the "City of Love".

    Location: Blessed St John Duns Scotus, 270 Ballater Street, Glasgow G5 0YT, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)141 429 0740


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